Heliophysics/Geospace System Observatory: System level science by large-scale space-ground coordination
Abstract:Recent multi-satellite and ground-based network measurements have revealed importance of cross-scale and cross-regional coupling processes for understanding key issues in geospace such as magnetic reconnection, substorms and particle acceleration. In particular, localized and fast plasma transport in a global scale has been recognized to play a fundamental role in regulating evolution of the magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling. Those results call for coordinated measurements multi-missions and facilities in a global scale for understanding global coupling processes in a system level. In fact, the National Research Council recommends to use NASA's existing heliophysics flight missions and NSF's ground-based facilities by forming a network of observing platforms that operate simultaneously to investigate the solar system. This array can be thought of as a single observatory, the Heliophysics/Geospace System Observatory (H/GSO).
Motivated by the successful launch of MMS and the healthy status of THEMIS, Van Allen Probes and other missions, we plan a strategic use of existing and upcoming assets in space and ground in the next two years. In the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 northern winter seasons, MMS will be in the dayside over northern Europe, and THEMIS will be in the nightside over North America. In the 2016 and 2017 southern winter seasons, THEMIS will be in the dayside over the South Pole, and MMS will be in the nightside in the Australian sector. These are favorable configurations for simultaneous day-night coupling measurements of magnetic reconnection and related plasma transport both in space and on the ground, and also provide excellent opportunities for cross-scale coupling, global effects of dayside transients, tail-inner magnetosphere coupling, and other global processes. This presentation will give the current status and plan of the H/GSO and these science targets.